The Reentry Project
The Reentry Project is managed by a steering committee of formerly incarcerated women and men, service providers, educators and advocates. It addresses barriers to community reentry, with a focus on improving access to housing and employment.
In 2013, the Reentry Committee has presented proposals that the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) and the Housing Authority of Cook County (HACC) pilot a housing access program for select ex-offenders. The pilot would allow several established reentry service providers to certify a small group of high-performing clients as qualifying for immediate access to subsidized housing.
Instead of imposing a five-year wait, the housing authorities would allow certified ex-offenders to rejoin family living in public or subsidized housing, or access their own unit if their name were called off an authority’s long waitlist. It is expected that each two-year pilot would involve 30 ex-offenders.
In its 2010 study, Barred from Housing, the Reentry Committee asked the CHA to end its automatic rejection of applicants who were on probation less than five years. Instead, CHA was asked to inform applicants that there is an appeal process available, and allow those who are denied to present a case that they have changed their lives. By 2013, the CHA adopted this appeals process.
For more information, contact the Reentry Project’s staff lead, Community Organizer Rachel Ramirez.